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As a contemporary-music group, CUBE tends to focus on the instrumental side of the repertoire, but for this chamber sampler, "The Sopranos," it has rounded up seven local women singers whose paths seldom cross. Each is devoted to interpreting new music, which is demanding, encompassing extremes in range and dynamics for the sake of psychological intensity. Barbara Ann Martin, for instance, has been a muse to George Crumb for years, and she's done some of the most lucid and affecting performances of his compositions on CD. Her voice is beginning to show the wear, but her delivery remains remarkably intelligent. Columbia College composer Sebastian Huydts should consider himself lucky to have Martin for the premiere of his Three Serious Songs, a CUBE commission. She'll also sing Patricia Morehead's "Music for an Abandoned Warehouse," a depiction of the sounds of the South Loop. The University of Chicago's Ralph Shapey, who's written some of the most fervent and memorable works for the voice, is also represented on the program; his "O Jerusalem" is a spellbinding paean to Judaism and the ancient city. Sharon Quattrin, an astute performer, will be the soprano, and she'll be joined by mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley in the opening duet from John Eaton's Antigone and in Rob Zuidam's "Calligramme (Il Pleut)." Deborah Kavasch's "Double Double" is a setting of the witches' scene from Macbeth, and will be sung by up-and-comers Kimberly Jones and Laura Amend as well as Kavasch. Jones also solos in Dorothy Rudd Moore's "Sonnets on Love, Rosebuds and Death," and Carol LoVerde and Bobbi Wilsyn, two uncommonly expressive vocalists, take care of the jazz portion of the program. All seven sopranos can count on the sturdy support of the CUBE instrumentalists and conductor Philip Morehead. Friday, April 20, 7:30 PM, Concert Hall, Columbia College, 1014 S. Michigan; 312-554-1133.

TED SHEN

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